Open floor plans have been increasing in popularity – and for good reason. There are several advantages to open floor plans, and they can be easier to create than you might realize. Before taking on this home renovation project, you should know what the process entails and have some ideas on how you would like to design your new space. Working with an experienced general contractor will make creating your new layout much easier because they will advise you on the best open floor plan design tips for your remodel.
The Advantages of an Open Floor Plan
There are several reasons an open floor plan appeals to a variety of homeowners:
Natural Light—Natural lighting is a great way to warm up a house and make it feel lively and bright. By removing walls and barriers, the light in a home is now free to roam throughout the space uninhibited. Embracing natural light during the day can help bring down electricity bills since you’re able to utilize the sun for warmth. During the winter added sunlight can also serve to warm your home without driving up your heating bill.
Increase Value—Since open floor plans are rising in popularity, they can add extra value to your home. Many house hunters are seeking homes that include open floor plans and are willing to pay more for them. Open floor plans also make your home feel bigger without the hassle of an addition like a porch or sunroom. Increasing the amount of open space can make living in your home more enjoyable while adding value that will work to your advantage if you decide to put it on the market.
Entertaining and Socializing—Hosting friends and family can sometimes lead to guests breaking off into separate rooms such as the kitchen, living room, and the den. With an open floor plan, your guests are encouraged to mingle thanks to lack of separation and ease of navigation. Being able to speak to people across rooms will certainly liven up your social events and encourage communication during family gatherings.
Redecorating—Without walls and barriers, it’s much easier to refresh your space by moving around furniture and decorations. You also have the freedom to arrange furniture like bookshelves, entertainment consoles, coffee tables, and more without having to follow the limitations of a walled-in space. If you would like to significantly change the design of a room or just have a habit of frequently redecorating, an open floor plan may greatly benefit you.
Design Tips from Your General Contractor
A general contractor will be able to provide open floor plan design ideas and guide you through the process of creating an open layout in your existing home or new, custom built home. A contractor can advise you about load-bearing walls that can or cannot be knocked down, what’s located behind existing walls, like heating ducts, piping, etc. and how much it may cost to move these components. Their expertise will help you finalize the design and the cost for the open floor plan remodel.
If you are able to have a custom home custom built, work with your builder to design the open floor plan of your dreams. Since custom-built homes are very expensive, many people will choose to renovate their existing home to create their desired floor plan instead.
Depending on the current layout of your home, there are different options for opening up your space. A few common choices for open floor plans include, but are not limited to, removing barriers between the kitchen and the living room, the kitchen and the dining room, and the living room and/or the den. As long as a wall does not contain plumbing, ducts, and is not load-bearing, it can easily be removed. Worling with a general contractor to decide what layout works best with your home and desires.
Once you’ve decided what rooms you would like to connect, your contractor will get to work planning the construction. If necessary, they will work with HVAC experts to determine how your vents and ducts will be redirected, as well as electricians to reroute your electric lines. These are crucial first steps of creating an open floor plan that a professional contractor will handle.
Before a contractor begins working on your home, remove furniture and decorations from the space and store them safely. This makes construction much easier and keeps your belongings protected from damage.
Once the space is prepped, the construction team can get to work. They will first pry off any trim on the wall before safely knocking out the drywall and removing the studs. After the wall is down, they will reroute the electric lines and HVAC ducts. The final steps are cleaning up the debris before patching and painting the ceiling and floor that were once attached to the wall.
The project may take a couple weeks, possibly longer or shorter depending on the size and number of walls being removed, so be sure to work that into your schedule.
Designing Your Open Floor Plan
Now you have ample space to work with and a new task of redesigning, decorating, and furnishing.
Lighting—Take advantage of natural light by opening a space with lots of windows or consider adding or expanding windows. To add light during the evening, try adding recessed lighting throughout the ceiling that covers the area so there’s an even amount of brightness in each section. Get creative with lamps and chandeliers that can also help visually divide the sections.
Defining Spaces—In order to define the sections of your floor plan without the help of walls, use home decor and furniture like rugs, sectionals, bookshelves, and tables in order to mark separate spaces. For example, if you are connecting your kitchen, dining room, and living room, consider marking off the kitchen with an island, adding a large rug to the dining room floor, and using a sectional in the living room. These pieces will help delineate each section of the floor plan and maintain the flow of the space.
Layout—When furnishing and decorating, think about the efficiency of the space. Be sure to create walkways that family members and guests can easily navigate. Design spaces that encourage communication and allow for easy access from one section to another.
Open Floor Plan Design with an Experienced, Local General Contractor
If you’ve decided you would like to upgrade your home to an open floor plan or would like to have a custom home built, Mancill Builders is here to help. We have served Delaware county for over 40 years and have extensive experience in home remodeling and building custom homes. If you want to find out more about creating an open floor plan in your home, be sure to contact Mancill Builders today – we will provide you with the open plan of your dreams!